Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in School Psychology


Educational Services and Leadership


College of Education


Dihoff, Roberta

Committee Member 1

Klanderman, John


Inclusive education; People with mental disabilities--Education; Self-esteem in adolescence


Educational Psychology


This investigation compared the global, personal, and social self-esteem levels of adolescents with learning disabilities or mild-to-moderate mental retardation. The purpose was to determine differences between the adolescents based on their disability, educational setting of inclusion or non-inclusion, and by gender. The sample of this study included nine females and 22 males between the ages of 13 and 21 years who lived in southern New Jersey.

Students were given the Culture Free Self-Esteem Inventories-Third Edition, a 67 item self-report, norm-referenced instrument. Mean scores for each group were compared and analyzed by using a one-way ANOVA, a two-way ANOVA, and descriptive statistics.

All of the groups reported "below average" self-esteem levels for the mean scores for the global quotient and personal and social self-esteem levels. No statistically significant differences were found between the groups.

A need for further research targeting a larger and more diverse representation of this population was indicated. A disqualification rate of 42% for the initial test scores for adolescents with mental retardation because of high defensiveness factor scores was noted.